Coronavirus Updates: Latest News and Analysis

China temporarily halts some imports of Tyson Foods poultry

As Beijing struggles to stop a coronavirus outbreak that appears to have started at a vast wholesale food market in the city this month, China’s customs agency is taking aim at a U.S. company in a politically contentious industry: Tyson Foods.

China’s General Administration of Customs said on Sunday that effective immediately, it was temporarily suspending poultry imports from a Tyson Foods slaughterhouse that has had coronavirus cases among its workers. Shipments from the slaughterhouse that have already arrived in China will also be seized, the customs agency said in a public notice.

The agency’s notice did not identify the location of the slaughterhouse, providing instead a registration number: P5842. Over the course of this spring, Tyson Foods has disclosed cases among its workers in several U.S. states.

On Friday, the company said that 13 percent of the 3,748 employees at its facilities in northwestern Arkansas had tested positive for the coronavirus. Almost all were asymptomatic.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, a resident of a Connecticut nursing home was told that he had less than a week to pack his things and move to a homeless shelter, his lawyer said. In April, Los Angeles police officers found an 88-year-old man with dementia crumpled on a city sidewalk. His nursing home had recently deposited him at an unregulated boardinghouse.

And in New York City, nursing homes tried to discharge at least 27 residents to homeless shelters from February through May, according to data from the city’s Department of Homeless Services.

More than any other institution in America, nursing homes have come to symbolize the deadly destruction of the coronavirus. Residents and employees of nursing homes and long-term care facilities represent more than 40 percent of the death toll in the United States.

At the same time, nursing homes across the country have been forcing out older and disabled residents — among the people most susceptible to the coronavirus — and often shunting them into unsafe facilities, according to 22 watchdogs in 16 states.

Critics suggest that such ousters create room for a class of customers who can generate more revenue: patients with Covid-19. Aside from sheltering older people, nursing homes gain much of their business by caring for patients of all ages and income levels who are recovering from surgery or acute illnesses like strokes.

Because of a change in federal reimbursement rates last fall, Covid-19 patients can bring in at least $600 more a day from Medicare than people with relatively mild health issues, according to nursing home executives and state officials.

Many of the evictions, known as involuntary discharges, appear to violate federal rules, and at least four states have restricted nursing homes from evicting patients during the pandemic. But 26 ombudsmen from 18 states provided figures to The Times: a total of more than 6,400 discharges, many to homeless shelters.

“We’re dealing with unsafe discharges, whether it be to a homeless shelter or to unlicensed facilities, on a daily basis,” said Molly Davies, the Los Angeles ombudsman. “And Covid-19 has made this all more urgent.”

In his first rally in months, President Trump bragged this weekend about his response to the pandemic, despite widespread criticism of his administration’s faltering management of the crisis.

Addressing a mostly maskless crowd on Saturday night in a sparsely filled 19,000-seat indoor arena in Tulsa, Okla., Mr. Trump mocked the coronavirus, which has killed 121,000 Americans, and claimed that he wanted to slow down testing.

Mr. Trump said the low turnout had resulted from news media reports on local officials’ health concerns about the indoor rally, and campaign advisers claimed that their supporters had trouble entering the arena because of protesters.

In reality, there were few protests across the city, and black leaders in Tulsa had made calls earlier for people to stay away.

Concerns that the event could spread the coronavirus were amplified hours before Mr. Trump took the stage when his campaign acknowledged that six staff members working on the rally had tested positive.

The campaign stressed that all rally attendees were receiving temperature checks before going through security and were then given wristbands, face masks and hand sanitizer.

Yet Trump supporters gathered in Tulsa appeared less worried about the virus and more exuberant over the president’s return to the campaign trail.

“If it is God’s will that I get coronavirus, that is the will of the Almighty,” said Robert Montanelli, a resident of a Tulsa suburb. “I will not live in fear.”

New York City hired 3,000 disease detectives and case monitors for its contact-tracing program, but the effort has gotten off to a troubling start.

The pandemic has devastated economies around the globe, shutting businesses and slowing spending. But unlike in the United States, where the jobless rate has soared, workers in Japan have weathered the pandemic with striking success, staying employed in large numbers.

Pro-labor attitudes in Japan, reinforced by strong legal precedents, make it uniquely difficult for Japanese companies, except under severe strain, to fire workers. And a constellation of social and demographic factors, including Japan’s aging population and shrinking work force, have allowed workers to largely hold on to their jobs and benefits, even as the economy has taken big hits over all.

Output in Japan shrank 2.2 percent in the first three months of the year, pushing the country into a recession. Data from April suggests that conditions will most likely continue to worsen.

Yet the unemployment rate in Japan has ticked up just two-tenths of a percentage point since February, to 2.6 percent. And that has helped Japan largely avoid the sense of anxiety that people in other countries experienced as companies shed employees, leaving millions without benefits in the middle of a public health crisis.

Rest assured, France’s culture minister says: The kiss has not been banished from movies.

As movie and television shoots in the country have slowly resumed after months of lockdown, actors have been working out ways of safely smooching, said the minister, Franck Riester.

With cases rising in 19 states across the South, West and Midwest in the United States, at least two states announced record-breaking numbers of new cases this weekend while infection levels reached new highs in at least two others.

Florida and South Carolina both had their third straight day breaking single-day records for news cases, while infection levels for Missouri and Nevada soared — increases that came as the United States reported more than 30,000 new infections on Friday, its highest total since May 1.

Florida reported 4,049 new cases on Saturday, bringing the state’s total to about 94,000 cases and more than 3,000 deaths. And South Carolina broke its record with 1,155 new cases.

Strikingly, the new infections have skewed younger, with more people in their 20s and 30s testing positive, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said — clusters that may be especially worrying to colleges and universities that plan to bring students back to campus in the fall, when the coronavirus and the flu virus are expected to be circulating simultaneously.

In Florida — which “has all the makings of the next large epicenter,” according to model projections by the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia — an advisory from the state’s Department of Health this weekend recommended that people avoid crowds larger than 50 people. It also encouraged social distancing and mask wearing at smaller gatherings.

President Trump is set to deliver his national convention speech on Aug. 27 in Jacksonville, Fla., inside an arena that holds 15,000 people.

Two clinical trials for hydroxychloroquine, the drug President Trump promoted, are halted.

Making difficult pandemic conversations easier.

When it’s time to invite people over or arrange a play date, would-be hosts face tough conversations with friends, neighbors and family on their standards for avoiding coronavirus infection. Here are some strategies to help.

Reporting was contributed by Anne Barnard, Keith Bradsher, Aurelien Breeden, Benedict Carey, Emily Cochrane, Ben Dooley, Amy Julia Harris, Aimee Ortiz, Sharon Otterman, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Liam Stack, Hisako Ueno and Mark Walker.